Set in the cultural district along the City of Angels’ Grand Avenue, just south of Gehry Partners’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, the building accommodates two programs of the Broad Art Foundation. Its two-fold function—public exhibition space and an art archive supporting its lending activities—is manifested in a “veil and vault” design concept. The vault is an opaque mass hovering in the heart of the block-long structure; the veil is a cellular exoskeleton enveloping the surrounding volume, lifted at two corners to welcome the public. From the lobby, visitors are funneled upward on an escalator to an acre-sized, column-free gallery lit by diffuse light from the skylight-pierced roof. The return to the lobby is down a twisting stair that offers views into the vault’s holdings. A “pucker” on the avenue front draws a portion of the cellular envelope inward to the foundation’s conference room. Juror Nataly Gattegno cited the “interesting material explorations” of that envelope, which is constructed principally of glass-fiber-reinforced concrete. —John Morris Dixon, FAIA
Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Dubbed "the veil and the vault," the museum's design merges the two key programs of the building: public exhibition space and the archive/storage that will support The Broad Art Foundation’s lending activities. Rather than relegate the archive/storage to secondary status, "the vault" plays a key role in shaping the museum experience from entry to exit. Its heavy opaque mass is always in view, hovering midway in the building. Its carved underside shapes the lobby below and public circulation routes. Its top surface is the floor of the exhibition space. The vault is enveloped on all sides by the "veil," an airy, cellular exoskeleton structure that spans across the block-long gallery and provides filtered natural daylight. The museum’s "veil" lifts at the corners, welcoming visitors into an active lobby with a bookshop and espresso bar. The public is then drawn upwards via escalator, tunneling through the archive, arriving onto an acre of column-free exhibition space bathed in diffuse light. This 24' high space is fully flexible to be shaped into galleries according to curatorial needs. Departure from the exhibition space is a return trip through the vault via a winding stair that offers glimpses into the vast holdings of the collection.
Jan. 8, 2013—New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro celebrates the topping off of The Broad in Los Angeles, with local officials and workers signing a ceremonial beam, which will be lifted to the top of the structure on downtown’s Grand Avenue. The 120,000-square-foot building will serve as public museum, private storage of the Broad archive, and headquarters to the Broad Art Foundation. To combine these various programs, the team at Diller Scofidio + Renfro—working with Gensler as executive architect—designed a light-controlled vault covered by a permeable, custom-formed GFRC veil. Visitors to the museum will enter beneath the veil, passing through the storage vault via escalator to 50,000 square feet of column-free, public galleries above. The museum will include a 200-seat lecture hall, as well as research spaces for visiting scholars.